Beach drainage



The beach drainage technology was discovered in 1981 in Denmark by the Danish institute GEO. Appointed to produce a large quantity of seawater for a Research Center, GEO’s engineers thought of draining the beach and use the filtering properties of the sand. The surface of the selected beach increased significantly following the installation. Thus, a second experiment was carried out on another beach to prove the beneficial effects of beach drainage on natural re-nourishment and fight against erosion.

The Ecoplage® drainage system lies on the principle of water infiltration in an unsaturated porous medium (sand). This method creates a flow of sea water from the surface of the beach towards the drain location, leading to the lowering of the water table.


This technology offers the following benefits:

  • Reduced exports of sediment caused by runoff water from the water table
  • Reduction of force with waves outflows
  • Increase in deposits of sediments carried by the waves on the beach
  • Stabilization of sediments on the surface of the beach
  • Fast recovery of the beach after storms
  • Increase in the wind effects helping the nourishment of the foot of the dunes and the foot of the dyke
  • Build-up of a sand stock serving as a “buffer-stock” for the following storms





Historically, the beach dewatering system was called : "beach management system". In the same way, the Ecoplage® process is part of a dynamic, sustainable and resilient coastal management. 

"Resilience is the ability to prepare and plan for absorb, recover from and more successfully adapt to adverse events." National Academy of science (2012)

For coastal management it means: 

  • Develop and implement a plan to become more resilient (getting informations, implement an Ecoplage® system...)
  • Defend the coast from major events: storms, hurricanes...
  • Immediately take action following disaster (pollution response, cleaning beaches...)
  • Assess resilience and manage adaptively